‘Tis but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale!*
H. W. Longfellow
When bureaucrats, with obfuscation
monotone in data-speak
and mumble to their mutinous nation,
bloodless vessels spring a leak.
Scan in vain the rolling breakers;
leadership is out to sea.
claim to speak for you and me…
The Ship of State, adrift, becalmed
floats on; a most ill-fated craft.
The body politic, unembalmed
begins to ripen fore and aft.
The crew, grown callous to the rot
and numbed by such expediency
with one last desperate cannon shot
forsake all hope of mutiny.
While computers spit statistics,
crewmen spread the expectant word;
(no more trust in mere ballistics…
hope delayed is hope transferred.)
“Make ready to abandon ship !
The captain’s just a talking head.
Lower the lifeboat, let her rip –
before, like him, we end up dead…”
The Ship of State is rent with breaches
data-leakage, data driven –
the lifeboat flounders, coral-riven
seeking distant wave-washed beaches.